Rating: PG, angst warning.

Pairings: Art & Janet. Karen and Darya.

Series: Reflections

Category: yet another mirror universe for the SGC.

Disclaimer: Stargate SG1 and all their characters belong to MGM, Showtime and Gekko Productions. But I think we all knew that, hmm? Art and Cooper are mine.

Spoilers: References aplenty to the majority of the third season here, consider yourselves warned…

Summary: How many shocks can one person take? And when it becomes too much… who will help you carry on?

Heart of the Fire
Day 97



It had been hard to be a part of General Hammond's 'find the mole' program. Everyone was suspect and it was making me more than a little paranoid. Only days after O'Neill's loss on P5C-768, I was volunteered to essentially take his place. The task had proved to be an insurmountable wall from the start. Whoever was passing secrets from the SGC was good. Damn good. Day after day of suspecting everybody was draining and it outraged the cop in me to be thwarted so completely.

Couple that with my surprise offspring, the shotgun wedding, my hormonal wife, the new SGD's and Sam slaving away like a woman possessed and I was worn a little thin. It was oddly Cassandra who was instrumental in holding together my sanity in these long months. That delightful girl was a wonderful, calming presence as we quietly bonded over movies and board games and homework. Cooper was happily settled in and Lucky seemed fine with her new packmates. The quiet nights spent at home with my girls and my dogs were the best kind of peace.

Then, at last, the day arrived. The particle accelerator was complete. I unceremoniously grabbed Sam by her collar and bodily dragged her out of the lab.

“You need sleep,” I told her with real steel in my tone. “Let Siler and Karen and the others install it and you can do the fine tuning after a nap.”

There were several muttered curses, but she was too drained to object much. Lucky's vigil at her door ensured that my pal would not sneak out and I was free to return to the others alone. Siler flashed me a grateful grin and we got down to the nuts and bolts work. It pleased me that Karen had been so involved in this project. Every time she was around seemed to herald good luck for SG1. That, and I simply liked her a ton and liked how she treated Darya and Emily. It didn't take long to move the generator into the Gate Room and we were soon up to our elbows in wires and hardware.

Day 100



We got him back.

Three months, eight days and fourteen hours ago I charged through the Stargate with Teal'c and left O'Neill behind. My life had been hell ever since. And now we stood on the surface of P5C-768 and watched him stare at us as though we were complete strangers. Watching him with the farmers he had been stranded with, a thought occurred to me.

He wasn't happy to see us.

I felt sick inside. All that work and he was reluctant to go home.

And then… it got worse.

What had happened to O'Neill in those months he'd been trapped here? We all stared in open-mouthed shock as he told General Hammond off, the surreal scene dissolving into angry shouting. This wasn't like him! Sure, O'Neill was irreverent and pushy and occasionally a little out of line, but this… this wasn't him.

A Stranger Among Us


It was bad enough he made us, his teammates and supposed family, feel so awful. It was bad enough this angry stranger had turned on General Hammond, and then on us. But this new, surly O'Neill had gone and stolen alien technology we'd been expressly forbidden to touch by an ally. An ally! We were so stunned that we could only stare as the Tollan came to Earth to demand their property be returned. When the Tollan had insisted that O'Neill be punished, he'd had the gall to sneer at them. We'd been working with these people for years and, while they were condescending to us, they didn't deserve the way he was treating them. I felt like I'd lost a hero and friend as O'Neill stripped himself of rank and pride, storming from the room as though the Tollan had insulted him.

Daniel, Teal'c, Art and I were left alone in the Briefing Room, too stunned to even talk about what had happened. Three months, eight days and fourteen hours I'd slaved away to return our leader to us.

Only to have gotten a monster.


I'd only stayed in this damn mountain for them. I had wanted so badly to get away once Sha're had been killed. She had been my reason to go on, the magical quest of finding my love and freeing her from her captors. Instead, I was forced to watch the life fade from her eyes. I'd been persuaded to stay by the family that I'd made in this godforsaken bunker deep in the earth.

I wanted to run away again.

What had happened to Jack? I couldn't believe this, couldn't believe his rage and hate and betrayal. And then he'd quit.

He'd quit!

How dare he! After everything we'd been through, all the blood and sweat and fears, he'd betrayed us and then quit. Only Sam's devastated expression had kept me here, only the flinty hurt in Teal'c's gaze. And now General Hammond wanted us to listen to Colonel Makepeace. I knew he was Art's pal, and that Sam had been dating him off and on for months. Beyond that, he was just another uniform to me, and I was none to happy with the supposed solution.

I was only here for Sam and Teal'c and Art.

The Truth Hurts



It was like a mad movie director's slow motion sequence. The Earth traitors poured in a steady stream from where Jack stood with his arm deep in the shimmering event horizon to prevent it from closing. One by one, they were slapped into restraints and herded into a corner. We of SG1 were there, gawking at our scruffy former team leader. Then he walked down the ramp and casually asked Bob for one of the zip ties. And my horrified brain figured it out even as it was happening.

Bob was the mole.

Even as O'Neill grabbed Bob's wrists to restrain him, my gun was out and aimed right between my pal's wide eyes. It was an unconscious move, one dictated by training and experience. Bob's angry eyes swung from Jack to meet mine over the barrel of the pistol. Betrayal warred with duty and it was hard to keep my hands from shaking.

He said something about defending Earth, but I barely heard. Beside me, Sam sucked in her breath as the truth sank home. “I'm sorry,” he whispered in an agonized voice and it hurt all the worse to know that he really meant it.

With a strangled noise, Sam turned and fled from the scene. I was torn between her and duty until Jack waved me away. “Go after her.”

The memory of the empathetic agony in his brown eyes spurred me after Sam. In her lab, I grabbed her roughly and we clung to one another in heartfelt desperation. “Oh The-eh mou, Sam. I didn't know, I couldn't have even guessed… I'm so sorry.”

They were inadequate, my words. There was nothing anyone could do to make this terrible shock any easier on anybody involved. Lucky, bless her heart, leaned hard against us and whined in sympathy while licking Sam's hands where they clutched my clothes.

This hurt on all levels.

Professionally, I had failed to notice any signs that might have led to him. In blithe ignorance, I had allowed him to continue with illicit activities that I had been tasked with stopping. The cop in me raged impotently. Personally, I was devastated. This man had stood with me at my wedding, was my best friend's lover. Sam shivered in my hold and I gripped her painfully tight to me. For this beloved woman's sake, I would set aside my own hurt and rage in order to help her through this. There would be time later for my feelings. “I'm here Sam, I'll always be here.”

Her shuddering breathing terrified me, she sounded like she was going into shock and there were slow tears leaking onto my neck. Finally, I clamped Sam's taller frame into a headlock as I had done in the 'Foothold' incident. And again it worked as she relaxed trustingly in to my grip and allowed me to drag her to the Infirmary. Stone-faced, I came into the Infirmary while Sam trembled and gamely tried to hold in her hysteria. When Janet saw my expression, she shoved the binder in her hands off to her assistant and rushed over. “Art, what's wrong?”

“Bob's the mole,” I hissed and she looked puzzled. Sam shivered and I clamped down briefly, hard enough to make her squeak and cling all the more tightly to me.

In Janet's office, I explained to the two most important people in my life what O'Neill and I had been involved with. There seemed little point in keeping anything from them. Sam remained clinging to me and cried quietly over her loss of trust yet again. How I wished there was something I could do… anything to make this easier. Janet stood behind our chairs as close as she could and comfortingly stroked us both.

And So It Ends…


Two days later, the tribunal was held.

Major Samantha Carter stood with the brittle strength of an iceberg and spoke with a hoarse dignity that endeared her to all of us even more. In precise, blunt words, she poured out the details of her affair with Colonel Robert Makepeace that broke a long-standing military regulation. He was a higher-ranking officer, and for a little while there while Jack was gone, her direct superior. It was awful listening to her tell these judgmental strangers things that only a good friend should hear.

Not ten feet away stood Bob.

He had been stripped of rank and uniform, his tattered dignity all the more pathetic in contrast to Sam's quiet strength. Colonel Maybourne seemed more annoyed than anything else about having his own personal empire pulled down around his ears.

One by one, the members of SG1 and SG3 gave brief statements. The poor Marines and Mac still looked betrayed and shell-shocked. No one had known what was going on and there was little to say.

Until Sam had been called forward.

The Generals and politicians on the tribunal council were quite taken aback by her tale. Especially George Hammond. But her honesty saved her being sucked into the nastiness because of her relationship with Bob.

All that was left after that was myself and Colonel O'Neill as the internal investigators of the crime. It made my throat ache to answer the questions as I strove to match Sam's frankness. Somehow we all survived it.

The sentencing and debriefing were a blur, Sam and I never more than an arm's length apart.



I was numb.

After that single breakdown in the Infirmary where Art had told me about the investigation, I had been numb. It was the only way I could do this and not completely fall apart. By letting the emotionless Major I so rarely relied on take over, I survived it.

Art and Janet and my team had allowed me the space to do what I needed to do to get through this. But my best friends or sweet little Lucky were never more than an arm's length away. Now the painfully public part of this nightmare was over and my agony was threatening to break loose.

That first night I had fallen asleep in Art's lap on the couch. The soft, rhythmic stroking of my hair had eventually worn through the numbness and the adrenaline enough to allow me that small peace. Later, their voices had roused me and I felt my dear pal gather my worn out body into her arms. “C'mon Sam,” Art had whispered. “There's a perfectly comfy bed nearby.”

Panic welled up and I clung to her with all of my strength. “Don't leave me,” I dimly heard my shattered voice beg. “Please.”

That was how I had ended up cuddled between their two bodies. It was putting a crimp in their sex life worse than the babies, but their constant presence saved my sanity. I was so tired of being hurt, of caring for men only to have them turn on me. Tired of having my trust violated, my body and soul taken advantage of. Dammit, I had liked Bob! Given more time, I probably could have fallen in love with him. There was a warm and funny man beneath the Marine. Even after working directly with him in command of SG1 so briefly, I would have never believed that he was capable of what he had done.

Worse, I sympathized with his reasons for doing it! The conflicting emotions were mirrored in Art's dark eyes, despite her trying to hide them. In certain respects, she had been closer to him than I. For Art had won the coveted position of 'buddy' with Bob. There was a rough playfulness between them that I had never been included in. When we were outside of work, I was strictly 'the girlfriend', and Art was a mutual pal. Oh well, it was redundant now. Feeling the burn of tears yet again, I dug the heels of my hands into my eyes and tried to choke it back. My breathing was harsh in the quiet bathroom while I struggled with my emotions. A long, hot bath had initially done wonders for me, but now I just felt cold and naked. In the mirror, looking back at me, was a woman whose blue eyes were conflicted and wounded. At least I hadn't dropped any of the slight weight I had gained back after completing the particle accelerator and getting O'Neill back. Janet, bless her great, big heart, wouldn't allow it. She was going to make such a great mom, just like she'd done for Cassandra. At night, my feisty healer would hold my head to her shoulder while Art curled along my back. How I adored them for the comfortable intimacy and their unwavering support.

To be continued…

Return to the Information page
Go back to the last chapter
Go on to the next chapter